Where was God today?  How many people have asked that question through the ages?  From young parents losing a child, to victims of the horrors of war, to young teenagers having their hearts broken for the first time, almost all of us have wondered where God was when the pain came.  When Jesus hung on the cross, His detractors asked similar questions, “He saved others, let Him save Himself,” they said, “If you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross.”  Jesus’ only response, if it can be considered a response, came as He quoted psalm 22 before His death, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani!”  Translated “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me!”  The crowds who heard him misheard his words and thought he was calling for Elijah (Eloi and Elijah being pronounced similarly enough in Aramaic that when a crucified man screamed them they could be confused).  Thinking that he was calling for Elijah they gave Jesus one last chance, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take Him down.”  While they may have misheard Jesus’ words, they misinterpreted what was happening on the cross.  They thought the only evidence of God’s action in the crucifixion would have been if Jesus was taken down from the cross.

Likewise we only see God’s hand when he takes us down from our little crosses.  When He spares our child, gives us the grade, provides for our budget, or heals our disease.  In 2 Cor 5:19, Paul says “In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them.”  What Paul is saying is that God was not less present in Jesus’ abandonment on the cross, but by leaving Jesus on the cross to the death, He was more present and more active than at any time in history.  God was there, in the abandoned Christ, working redemption and forgiveness.  Where was God on Good Friday?  He was in not only in heaven, judging our sins in the man Christ Jesus, but He was in Christ, atoning for us through His sinless life and death.  He was there at the cross glorifying Himself more than He has in any healing, military victory, or miraculous delivery.  The God we worship is not only present when we are delivered and relieved, but He is ever so much more present through our suffering and pain, working a redemption better than we ever could have hoped for.  

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  1. Pastor Bruce says:

    Where is God? This reminds me of a story I heard. There were two boys who were a big problem for their mom. Lets just say that all the police knew the 10 and 8 year olds by their first name. Someone advised their mother to have them see Pastor Iain who had a reputation for straightening out young rebels having been one himself. So she goes to see Pastor Iain and set-up appointmens for her boys. The next day the mom dropped the younger boy off and he went into Pastor Iain’s office. Pastor Iain walks in and sits down in his big chair with the boy facing him. Being the theologian Iain is he ask a question to see what the boys knows. “Where is God?” The boy just looked down. The question was asked again only a little louder. The boy looks up into Pastor Iain’s eyes and doesn’t blink. Again the question is asked, “Where is God.” but in a very loud voice. At that the boy runs out of the office and two blocks to his house. He slams the front door and goes into the hall closet. His brother heard the door slam and comes down to the area. He hears his younger brother crying. He open the door and asks, “What is going on.” The boy replies, “They have lost God and they are trying to pin it on us.”

    LOL Happy Easter

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